Namaste is an ancient greeting that is very popular amongst those of us who have discovered the joy of Eastern religion. In our Western societies and religions, I believe that Namaste is known by Christians as the question: What would Jesus do? I wanted to explore these ideals this week because they speak of a state of being beyond our usual ego-centric concerns.
Unfortunately, sometimes greeting someone with reverence and asking oneself what Jesus would do is easier said than put into practice. Because I wanted to implement more of this ancient wisdom into my life I wondered whether I struggled to put these principles into practice because I didn’t fully understand what they are really about.
This is what I found…
Namaste is about transcending the stories we tell about our world.
This world we live in is made up of stories. Some are fascinating tales of adventure while others are the uneventful tales of our daily lives. Ultimately, these stories we tell ourselves are what make us who we are.
In the past I have written about how the stories we tell ourselves actually limit our understanding of the world around us and ultimately dictate what we attract into our lives. This is because what you tell yourself are your beliefs about this world are the result of all of your past experiences, cultural conditioning, and what your immediate environment (primary caregivers) has told you is true about the world you live in.
Some of us have been lucky enough to be conditioned to tell ourselves that we are valuable and beautiful beings who deserve infinite wealth, health, and love; while some of us have not been that lucky and have learned to think the opposite is true. Even better, some of us have realized that all of our past conditioning (whether good or bad) falls short of the vision we have of our lives.
(If you haven’t made the transition yet, what are you waiting for?)
Yet, despite how different all of the stories we tell ourselves about the world are—I am beautiful, I am ugly, I am a Republican, I am a Democrat—they all have one thing in common. Want to know what it is?
Take a deep breath. Notice how the air flows deep into your belly as your lungs expand beyond their usual capacity. Exhale. Repeat. If you take a moment you may just notice that you are a being that has thoughts; you are not your thoughts.
Your mind is a beautiful expression of the divine. It can either be your best friend (when you program it to have thoughts that are positive and self-serving), or it can be your worst enemy (when you program it to have thoughts that are self-defeating). But the one thing that we all have in common is that we exist. Simple as that.
If you have ever heard of the quotes “I think therefore I am,” or “you are the universe experiencing itself subjectively,” that is exactly what they speak of. This means that your story is but a fragment (a very important one of course) of God’s imagination. What a beautiful idea, isn’t it?
The problem we run into as humans is when we believe that “my story is better than your story“. We seem to have bought into the idea that “it is my way or the highway,” and this mentality has done nothing but cause wars and destroy our one and only planet. We seem to have forgotten that we exist as One despite our differences.
What is Namaste?
Namaste is the acknowledgement of the expression of the divine that is manifest in each of us. Namaste means that you are willing to make the choice to look beyond and transcend the story you tell yourself about who you are and who the people in your life are. It means that you chose to focus on what you know to be the best possible image of yourself and that of the person in front of you.
Namaste is a beautiful and awe inspiring concept when put into practice. But, as Marie Forleo often says, “insight means nothing without action.”
When Namaste is easier said than done.
It is easy to love the word itself and focus on judging others as we are accustomed to do. Trust me; I do it quite often when I drive. That is why time and time again I swear by the idea that driving in Houston traffic is a spiritual test from the universe to measure my commitment to my ideals. You know… do I walk the talk?
So if you find yourself struggling to “walk the talk” when it comes to putting the concept of Namaste or WWJD into practice, here are three simple steps I take when I want to stay on track.
1. Take a deep breath.
Lately I’ve been on this “deep breath” kick because I have found that it helps me come back into the present moment every time I notice that my mind has gone on a tangent. Taking deep breaths brings you back to the present moment where everything and anything is possible, beyond the limited confines of your mind. It is in the present moment where you can now make the choice to disengage from your mind and story.
2. Connect with your inner-divinity.
It is much easier to honor another’s divinity when you are in touch with your own. That is why I like to shift my awareness into my heart chakra and focus on my connection with God or the universe. Of course if you do not subscribe to Eastern thought, you may want to simply ask yourself what Jesus would do in this situation.
Same concept, different story.
See? That is exactly how Namaste works.
3. Namaste all day long.
After you’ve put your story aside for a bit, all that is left is your own commitment to honor the divinity of others. Honestly, at this point it just feels perfectly effortless to see others as divine beings with human stories and human flaws—because you too are a divine human with human flaws.
When you honor another’s divinity “long enough” you may just realize what Namaste is really all about:
My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you, because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.
What about you? How have you put Namaste into practice in your daily life? Leave a comment with your answer below!
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